There are plenty of SEO tools out there to help you get the most out of your website. And while many of the best are paid, there are lots of excellent free SEO tools available that are perfect if you’re on a tight budget or are just starting out and getting to grips with everything.
Take a look at my pick of 11 of the best free SEO tools to help you on your way to top search engine rankings and a fantastic user experience.
1. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is great for both SEO beginners and those who are more experienced. It provides lots of useful information to help you identify errors on your site, work on search results, and improve user experience.
If you’re brand new to SEO, get to know Google Search Console before you jump into Google Analytics. Some of the information provided is the same, but Search Console is less overwhelming and more straightforward to use.
Top uses for Google Search Console
- See which search phrases your site ranks for, and whereabouts they show in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
- Keyword research
- Suggestions for user experience improvement through reports such as Mobile Usability and Core Web Vitals.
- Check backlinks
- Upload sitemaps
2. Bing Webmaster Tools
Always remember that SEO isn’t all about Google! Bing plays a big part in directing traffic to your site too, and the search engine has its own set of tools to help optimise your content.
While much of the SEO work you do for Google will be relevant for Bing, the search giants each have their own priorities and areas of focus. By learning a bit about both, you can identify which might be more useful, optimise your site for both, and see positive results whichever search engine your users prefer.
Top uses for Bing Webmaster Tools
- Identify areas to improve on your site
- Analyse SEO on your site and check it follows best practices
- See how users find your site
- Take a look at competitors’ backlink profiles to identify gaps in your own
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics can be daunting at first sight because it holds so much information. But that’s also the reason that you should be using it. Much of the data you’ll find in the other SEO apps on this page come from Analytics, and, with some patience and learning, this is a really powerful tool that can take your site to the heights of search engine optimisation!
Top uses for Google Analytics
- In-depth user demographics
- See how visitors use your site and identify popular pages, high bounce rates, and potential page issues
- See where your traffic comes from, including referral sites, search traffic, and social traffic
- View customer journeys
4. Yoast SEO
If you have a WordPress website, then Yoast SEO is one of the best plugins for your site. It provides a huge amount of useful information and functionality to help you optimise your website. It’s easy to use and does a lot of the more technical SEO for you.
Top uses for Yoast SEO
- Analyse your content to make sure it’s SEO optimised
- Automatically add structured data
- Create good-looking social cards
5. Answer The Public
By knowing the kinds of questions people are asking around your niche, you can help provide valuable content and insight, therefore drawing relevant users to your site. Answer the Public is the perfect free SEO tool for this: type in a word or two that’s relevant to your business, and then see what comes up. You’ll be provided with a whole host of content ideas in the form of questions, related searches, and searches by preposition.
Top uses for Answer The Public
- Find new content ideas
- Update current content to include relevant search phrases
- Answer popular questions through FAQs and other content
6. SEMrush Sensor
To track how well your SEO is working, you should be keeping an eye on the SERPs to see where your website is appearing and whether its position is improving, worsening, or staying much the same. If you’re already doing this, you might notice that sometimes your position jumps all over the place. This can be completely normal, but can be frustrating if you don’t know why. SEMrush Sensor helps by reporting on Google’s daily volatility, so you can check whether there have been any significant changes to rankings within your industry.
Top uses for SEMrush Sensor
- Filter Google volatility by industry to identify how your site may have been affected nu changes
- Identify any possible updates to the Google algorithm so that you can make changes to your site as necessary
7. Screaming Frog SEO Spider
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a desktop app that’s perfect for your site’s technical SEO. You can insert up to 500 links on the free plan and identify a range of (usually) easy-to-fix technical SEO issues on your site. While the paid plan offers a more comprehensive audit, the free version of the tool is perfect for beginners, as it highlights problems that you can probably fix yourself, rather than needing a developer or extensive knowledge.
Top uses for Screaming Frog SEO Spider
- Find broken links and redirects
- Analyse page titles and meta data to help improve SEO
- Find duplicate pages
8. SEOWorkers’ SEO Analysis Tool
SEOWorkers’ SEO Analysis Tool aims to replicate the same spider technology as search engines to identify how your website is likely to rank. It will look at a number of areas of your website including page titles, links and meta tags to see whether there could be any improvement. Then it also gives you information as to why it’s important to make those changes. It’s a great tool for learning while making basic SEO improvements.
Top uses for SEOWorkers’ SEO Analysis Tool
- Analyse competitor websites to identify possible improvements for your own
- Check for possible areas of SEO improvements on your own site
- Learn more about each area of analysis and why it’s important
There are plenty of keyword research tools to help you rank on Google, but what about other sites like Amazon, YouTube, eBay and Playstore? If you’re aiming to rank well on any of these sites (and more), then you may want to delve deeper into keywords used specifically on these platforms. Keyword.io allows you to enter a search keyword and presents you with popular related searches on the various sites.
Top uses for Keyword.io
- Find longtail keywords on specific search sites other than Google
- Identify additional search terms to target
- Discover related topics for content inspiration
The clean layout of SEOptimer gives you a brief overview of your site’s SEO performance, and then helps you identify some areas for improvement. If you’re quite visual and are looking for something that’s helpful but not too complicated, the this could be the tool for you.
Top uses for SEOptimer
- Identify general areas for SEO improvement
- Receive suggestions for updates and changes, based on a system of priority
A sitemap helps search engines crawl your website so that they can find information to share in the SERPs. Creating a sitemap can be a bit difficult if you’re new to SEO, so this tool helps simplify the process for you.
Top uses for XML-Sitemaps.com
- Easily generate a sitemap that you can submit to search engines.
There are plenty of free tools out there to get you started with SEO. While many will have more advanced paid subscriptions, the free functionalities on offer are often enough when you’re starting out. There’s no single best free SEO tool, but a number that will work well depending on what you need: analysis, link building, content research, and more.